Don’t let an eye injury ruin a child’s holiday season. Put safety first when selecting gifts for children.
That’s the message from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which has declared December 2019 as Safe Toys and Celebrations Month. Each year, several thousand children under the age of 15 are rushed to emergency rooms all over the country suffering from toy-related eye injuries. These injuries can result in permanent vision damage and even blindness.
The Houston eye doctors at Berkeley Eye Center fully support the AAO’s efforts to raise awareness and educate the public on the importance of selecting safe toys for the young ones on their gift lists.
Put Safety First When Making Your Holiday Toy Purchases
Unfortunately, many toys have the potential to cause eye injuries. That’s why it’s so important to be careful about what toys you allow a child to play with. The AAO offers these Top Toy Safety Tips to avoid toy related eye injuries:
- Avoid toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
- Supervise children while they play with toys or games that could potentially cause an eye injury.
- Read the label. Ensure that laser product labels include a statement that the device complies with 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations) Subchapter J.
- If you give a gift of sports equipment, make sure to include the appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses.
- Select gifts that are appropriate for a child’s age and abilities.
- Don’t let younger children play with toys intended for older children.
- Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.
There are many online resources to help adults select safe gifts for children. One of the most popular is World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.) which releases a “Ten Worst Toys” list each year.
Retinal detachment, scratched eyes (corneal abrasions), punctures, bruising, traumatic cataracts, acute hyphema, subconjunctival hemorrhages, burns and increased intraocular pressure are just a few of the toy related injuries children are treated for.
If your child suffers an eye injury, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. Even a mild eye injury should be examined by a doctor; left untreated, it could result in a serious infection or even blindness. In some instances, oculoplastic surgery may be required to repair damage to the eye socket and other ocular structures.
Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season
The team at Berkeley Eye Center wants everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season. We urge adults to keep a child’s safety in mind when selecting their gifts.
Berkeley Eye Center has been protecting the vision of Houstonians for over 50 years. If your child is experiencing vision problems that weren’t caused by an injury, it’s important to bring them in for a comprehensive eye exam as soon as possible. Early detection and treatment are the key to preventing minor vision problems from getting worse.
Contact Berkeley Eye Center to schedule an appointment. We have clinics all around the city of Houston and surrounding communities, so there’s sure to be a Berkeley Eye Center near you.